A Toast to David Stameshkin:
David has devoted his life work to Franklin & Marshall College. In 34 years he has mentored thousands of students, encouraged and guided generations of alumni, worked in the President's Office, the Dean's Office, the Development Office, and, most recently, in his office in the Bonchek College House doing what he has done best all these years--being "Dean S" for his students.
His influence has not been limited to only students, however. I am sure all of you have your own stories of how David has touched your life. For me, David took me under his wing when I joined the College almost 14 years ago. He was always willing to give me advice, insight, and guidance when I was faced with challenging issues or just needed a helping hand. More than that, however, I have been inspired over the years at his amazing ability to always be so positive and supportive to everyone with whom he comes into contact. One day I asked him about that and how he did it. His answer was just what one would expect from David. He said, "My father used to say that every time you have a conversation with someone or any kind of interaction with another human being, if the other person doesn't leave the interaction feeling better--happier, more confident, smarter, better informed, etc.--then you have failed, and you have to ask yourself why, because he believed we were put here on earth primarily to improve things--one interaction at a time."
It's been 50 years since David's father passed away and 34 years since you stepped foot on this campus. As I reflect on what your father said to you, David, I have no doubt that he is as proud of you today as he was when you were a little boy. You have certainly lived up to your father's words of wisdom and challenge. I have marveled at your work and been inspired by it. The same is true for all who have had the privilege of working with you, learning from you, and being in your life.
For everyone whose lives you have touched over these past 34 years, thank you! We are better for it.
On behalf of your father, "Well done, David, well done."
Congratulations on your retirement! Keep in touch when you can. F&M will always need "Dean S" around.